Sunday, August 12, 2007

AAI begins work on Kolkata, Chennai airport upgrade

NEW DELHI: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Friday said it has started work on modernisation of Kolkata and Chennai airports and will construct new terminals, additional runways and taxiways at a total estimated cost of Rs 4,000 crore.

"We have drawn up ambitious plans to modernise these two airports. Designs of new terminal buildings and expansion of existing ones have already been approved for both the airports," AAI Chairman K Ramalingam said at a seminar on air route development here.

He said the estimated cost of modernising the two airports would be Rs 2,000 crore each and the target date is 2010. The plans also include the construction of new runways, parking spaces, taxiways and new airspace management and air traffic control systems.

The process of city-side development of these airports and connectivity was also being discussed, Ramalingam said. He also dwelt on the modernisation of 35 non-metro airports that were being developed simultaneously and the AAI was making efforts to meet the specific target set up for each project.

Special surveys were being conducted to check the standards of services being provided at metro airports, which would later be extended to the non-metro ones. Referring to the congestion in airspace over major airports like those in Delhi and Mumbai, Ramalingam said the development of new routes, besides enhancement of the technological capabilities of airspace management and ATC, was being looked into.

The seminar, organised by AAI and UK-based Route Development Group, would go into a gamut of issues relating to expansion of the air route network in India as well as the region.


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